We all want our homes to work for our families, and sometimes that means you need extra space for aging parents who are moving in. Creating an in-law suite or secondary suite gives your home extra living quarters as an attachment to the house, a separate dwelling on the property or addition over a garage. Aside from the additional space for your loved ones, an in-law suite can increase the value of your home and make your property attractive to buyers when you decide to sell.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Not only does adding an in-law suite increase the value of your home, but it also provides a possible source of rental income, should you need it down the road.
The trend continues toward adding square footage to homes. On top of bigger houses, it is increasingly common for multiple generations of a family to live together in a single home. Families want to be together and to save money on houses for elderly members. In many ways, an in-law suite is the best of both worlds because your family member doesn't lose their independence and privacy but you are there if anything goes wrong. Because of these needs, many home buyers look for homes that could include room for their aging parents as a way to avoid assisted-living facilities.
In-Law Apartment Value
Home buyers were willing to pay extra for a basement and an in-law suite, according to a survey of more than 2,000 households by the National Association of Realtors. The survey reveals 33 percent of the buyers would pay nearly $3,000 more for an in-law addition. The same study found that a finished basement and an in-law suite were the two most desired aspects of a home that buyers would be willing to pay more for. Because not many homes include in-law apartments, having one can give you an edge when selling to today's multigenerational families. As with any home addition, however, it is important to remember that the value of the addition will increase or decrease depending on the quality of the construction and how well the new addition meshes with the rest of the original property. Building an in-law suite can even be a way to enhance the overall look of your home.
Another factor to consider is that adding an in-law suite can offer you rental possibilities. If the unit is self-contained, you may be able to lease it to a renter in return for a monthly rent payment. If you don't have an in-law to fill your in-law suite, this can be a smart way to make some money or even supplement your mortgage payments. Additionally, adding an in-law suite to rent out may help elderly homeowners stay in their own homes longer and supplement their incomes. Depending on where you live and the housing market in that area, renting out a studio apartment could net you over $800 a month.
Bea is a personal finance and legal writer based in Texas.